Set in a rural valley of ranches and orchards, the owners named the project "New Caelifera" after the scientific name for the grasshoppers that live on the site. Like a grasshopper, the building sits lightly on the meadow with a low profile.
The owners like the angular aesthetic of origami. We responded by metaphorically lifting the landscape and folding in the house. We created a steel shell that shelters a pavilion of glass and cedar. The result is a dynamic harmony between sculptural and tectonic elements.
Topography and views were drivers in the design process. We drew vectors corresponding to view corridors to dramatic peaks in the Sawtooth Mountains. These vectors formed the basis for the floor plan with the angles in the surrounding hills inspiring the slope of the roof.
The structure is a landmark that welcomes the family upon approach. We created a substantial steel facade, a strong threshold into the refuge beyond. The entry façade temporarily obscures the views creating a heightened sense of anticipation. The wood lined vestibule enhances the experience of crossing a portal into a new domain. The living space faces a wall of windows revealing light and views.